Question(s) about tending a brush pile fire with the tractor.

The Evil Twin

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501
Jul 19, 2022
531
375
63
Virginia
@Virtual Guy , no worries using the grapple. My neighbor has done so for years, and I did when I borrowed his grapple. Hoses, fittings etc not even slightly affected. Now, you can't just take your time and you should be upwind. But only if you drive into the pit or stop and open another beer while you have the grapple over or in the fire will you have to worry about a hose bursting and hot oil cooking you like KFC.
 

Vlach7

Active member

Equipment
L47 305DT JD500C
Dec 16, 2021
100
38
28
Frazier Park Ca
"Hot cooking oil", reminded me of one of the calls I went on as a paramedic, elderly guy working his portable food cart on a street corner, had a stroke, bystanders found him leaning over with one of his hands in the boiling cooking oil, still alive.
 
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Flintknapper

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Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
609
731
93
Deep East Texas
"Hot cooking oil", reminded me of one of the calls I went on as a paramedic, elderly guy working his portable food cart on a street corner, had a stroke, bystanders found him leaning over with one of his hands in the boiling cooking oil, still alive.
Oh......ouch!

I know it sounds macabre...but I hope the poor guy never regained consciousness.
 

Lil Foot

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
1979 B7100DT Gear, Nissan Hanix N150-2 Excavator
May 19, 2011
6,527
1,329
113
Peoria, AZ
When I was a Fire Captain, I used to get various trade journals that usually listed various incidents and how they were handled. ((either well or poorly)

I only remember 4 or 5 incidents involving tractors burning up in brush burning accidents, and in every case, the burn pile was in a dugout pit. Operator went too far and dropped his front wheels into the pit, and could not get enough traction to get back out in time.
If I ever burn brush, (not likely) I will not dig a hole first.
 
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Vlach7

Active member

Equipment
L47 305DT JD500C
Dec 16, 2021
100
38
28
Frazier Park Ca
Better to learn from somebody else's mistakes. Stories are good to here, as long as they are true.
 
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ve9aa

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Equipment
tg1860, bx2380
Apr 11, 2021
639
405
63
NB, Canada
The wagon story was interesting and reminded me of a time I was (MIG) welding outside on an old utility trailer I was refurbing. Every once in a while I could smell something downright nasty burning.

Finally, 5 (or whatever) minutes after the first time I smelled "burning something or another" I flipped back my welders mask and looked around to reveal that a full 10' away from where I was welding, my nearly new plastic covered 24' measuring tape was fully ablaze. I can only presume a spark flew over my head and onto the flammable(?) plastic case of the measuring tape behind me and up it went.

(I was outside, but...) My wife won't let me weld in the house ever again !

p.s.- I wouldn't stick my new tractor (or even my old one) anywhere's close to a fire. That'd be the time it either stalled or a spark would catch some plastic piece on fire ! ! !
 

The Evil Twin

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501
Jul 19, 2022
531
375
63
Virginia
When I was a Fire Captain, I used to get various trade journals that usually listed various incidents and how they were handled. ((either well or poorly)

I only remember 4 or 5 incidents involving tractors burning up in brush burning accidents, and in every case, the burn pile was in a dugout pit. Operator went too far and dropped his front wheels into the pit, and could not get enough traction to get back out in time.
If I ever burn brush, (not likely) I will not dig a hole first.
Well, this is true operator error. I always burn in a hole but have a 1-2 foot berm around the hole. There is no mistaking where 'too far" is.
 
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Virtual Guy

Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501, loader, Land Pride box blade and grapple, John Deere MX5 cutter
Jul 17, 2022
83
66
18
Osage County Oklahoma
"Hot cooking oil", reminded me of one of the calls I went on as a paramedic, elderly guy working his portable food cart on a street corner, had a stroke, bystanders found him leaning over with one of his hands in the boiling cooking oil, still alive.
I have a few "life tattoos" as I like to call them. I'm missing part of my right thumb from general dumbassery in my dad's butcher shop. I wear a couple parallel scars under my chin from a motorcycle + barbed wire incident. But the most painful (by far) was burning a significant part of my hand with grease from a food service deep fryer. Your story gave me serious flash backs.
 
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Flintknapper

Well-known member

Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
609
731
93
Deep East Texas
Coincidentally, I will be burning about a half dozen brush piles I have scattered around my property in the next few days.

They vary in size. I started today with the smallest one. I have only a couple that will require tractor work as they burn or at some point later when they have burned down. I won't be 'adding' fuel to the piles as the OP is wanting to do, but pushing the ends in IF they have not already fully burned.

Generally...the piles burn quite well without manipulation. IF control is a factor I will light the piles such that they burn upwind.

I douse the piles with old engine oil (saved back). Spray that with some diesel fuel from a hand pumped garden sprayer. I then use my back-pack propane torch to initiate the flame and force feed the pile with oxygen using a leaf blower. It gets the pile burning very hot, very quickly.

I keep nothing more than a rake at hand to put out small areas of grass right around the base of the pile. I don't burn in dry conditions and I clear the area around the pile prior to lighting it. Have never had a fire come anywhere close to getting out of control.

Ready to burn.jpg
 
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The Evil Twin

Well-known member

Equipment
L2501
Jul 19, 2022
531
375
63
Virginia
Coincidentally, I will be burning about a half dozen brush piles I have scattered around my property in the next few days.

They vary in size. I started today with the smallest one. I have only a couple that will require tractor work as they burn or at some point later when they have burned down. I won't be 'adding' fuel to the piles as the OP is wanting to do, but pushing the ends in IF they have not already fully burned.

Generally...the piles burn quite well without manipulation. IF control is a factor I will light the piles such that they burn upwind.

I douse the piles with old engine oil (saved back). Spray that with some diesel fuel from a hand pumped garden sprayer. I then use my back-pack propane torch to initiate the flame and force feed the pile with oxygen using a leaf blower. It gets the pile burning very hot, very quickly.

I keep nothing more than a rake at hand to put out small areas of grass right around the base of the pile. I don't burn in dry conditions and I clear the area around the pile prior to lighting it. Have never had a fire come anywhere close to getting out of control.

View attachment 90755
GeoHorn would say you will burst into flames and be propelled to Mars by the back mounted LP tank 😂
I know we butt heads but I'm just giving you a hard time in this one GH!
 
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Flintknapper

Well-known member

Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
609
731
93
Deep East Texas
GeoHorn would say you will burst into flames and be propelled to Mars by the back mounted LP tank 😂
At least to Mars....maybe Neptune on a full tank.

Maybe stop off at the Sun and rest up. Pretty sure I can land there if I go at night. ;)

Yeah, somehow I've survived 50 years of burning brush and not caught myself or anything else on fire.

So either my methods are safe enough....or I've had a hell of a run of dumb luck, huh?
 
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lynnmor

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Equipment
B2601-1
May 3, 2021
824
573
93
Red Lion
When I cleared my jungle to build a house, I made enormous piles and used an old tire to get the green stuff burning. There was considerable amounts of poison ivy in each pile. One Saturday I lit one off and the wind carried the smoke low to the ground and back over the hill. Sunday morning at church a very red and itchy neighbor asked me what I was burning.
 
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Daferris

Active member

Equipment
LX2610
Nov 23, 2021
234
191
43
Mid-Michigan
Another thing to consider if your using the tractor to condense the burn pile or to add more fuel to it. Is to get some open cell foam to make a prefilter for the air filter intake.
 
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Captain13

Active member

Equipment
M7040 4WD ROPS, ZD28, Woods (84” box blade, 72” harrow, 48” pallet forks)
Feb 27, 2019
432
137
43
Kathleen, GA
Saw this post a couple of days ago and thought about it outside Waycross, Georgia yesterday. Picture a smoking brush pile with what appeared to be a John Deere burned up with the bucket about 10 feet from the pile. If you’ve traveled south out of Waycross you will have seen the thousands of acres of pine trees. After they are cut, a cleanup crew pushes the brush into multiple piles to be burned before new trees are planted. This tractor was burned beyond recognition but the shape appeared to be a Deere.